30 May, 2019
India Lost 51 Tigers in the First Five Months Since January 2019
Indian tigers have been in the crosshair for centuries and every time we hear the news of a tiger death we believe it to be the last incident and wish it not to happen again. The reason behind such expectation is the continuous efforts of the tiger conservation like Save Tiger, Project Tiger and WWF who work round the clock to preserve the endangered species. However, a recent response to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) states, India has lost 51 tigers in territorial fight, poaching or electrocution in the first five months, till May 29, 2019. On average, the country has lost 10 tigers every month which is half of a total of 102 tigers that were killed in the year 2018.
In Case You Didn’t Know
The tiger population in India was estimated to be around 40,000 but then it plunged with a count reaching as low as 1411 in the late 2000s. Despite the consistent efforts of the Project Tiger which was started in 1973 in India, there has been a decline in the tiger population with an ever-growing threat of poaching, cannibalism and other reasons.
Tiger Deaths Data Jan 2019-May 2019India is slowly losing the war to save the tigers. According to a recent data available from Tigernet, a database (NTCA), Madhya Pradesh has remained at the top of the list with about 18 tiger deaths followed by Maharashtra with the deaths of 8 tigers in the first five months of the year 2019. In 80% mortality, the cause of the deaths couldn't be identified. However, NTCA officials are still investigating the cases. Some of the cases of tiger deaths over the past five months are mentioned below-
|Date||Cause of the Deaths||Details of the Tiger||Location|
|May 28, 2019||Cancer||12 years (Male)||Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai|
|May 27, 2019||Infighting (Post Mortem report is yet to come)||3-4 years (Female)||Corbett Tiger Reserve’s Dhela Zone, Uttarakhand|
|May 3, 2019||Infighting||Age is Unknown (Male)||Corbett Tiger Reserve, Bijrani Zone, Uttarakhand|
|May 3, 2019||Natural Death||18 years (Male)||Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai|
|April 16, 2019||Mowed down by a train||3 years (Female)||Chelama Forest near Nandyal Town in Andhra Pradesh|
|April 14, 2019||Possibility- Infighting||10 years (Male)||Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Dudhwa Range, Uttar Pradesh|
|April 13, 2019||Poaching||Sub Adult Tigress||Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra|
|April 9, 2019||Possibility- Poaching||Decomposed Body of a Tiger||Mangrove Forest-Sundarbans, West Bengal|
|April 8, 2019||Poaching||Royal Bengal Tiger||Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal|
|April 5, 2019||Possibility- Infighting||10-12 years (Male)||Megamalai Reserve Forest, Theni, Tamil Nadu|
|March 27, 2019||Poaching||4 years (Male)||Maheshpur Forest Range, Uttar Pradesh|
|March 22, 2019||Cannibalism||Age is Unknown (Male)||Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh|
|March 19, 2019||Poaching||8 months old (Tiger)||Harihara Village in Gonikoppal, Karnataka|
|March 8, 2019||Starvation||Age is Unknown (Tiger)||Madhya Pradesh tiger who trekked from Ratapani to Lunawada in Gujarat|
|February 28, 2019||Territorial Fight||Age is Unknown (Tiger)||Buffer Zone- Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh|
|February 27, 2019||Cannibalism||2 Sub Adult Male Tigers||Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh|
|February 22, 2019||Miscarriage due to territorial fight||8 years old pregnant tigress||Hebbe Wildlife Range, Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Karnataka|
|February 11, 2019||Poaching||8-10 years (Tigress)||Gadagadia Range of Terai Central Forest Division, Uttarakhand|
|January 20, 2019||Possibility- Infighting||18 months Male Tiger||Corbett Tiger Reserve, Ringoda Stream, Uttarakhand|
|January 5, 2019||Infighting||4 years (Male)||Kisli-Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh|
|January 4, 2019||Died due to old age||10 years (Male)||Motha Village of Chikhaldara in Maharashtra|
|January 3, 2019||Infighting||12 months (Tigress)||Khursapar- Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra|
Laws about Tiger Poaching in India
The tiger poaching in India has seriously impacted the probability of tiger survival in the country. We are losing the war of saving the tigers. According to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, amended in 2002, states that hunting or poaching would result in imprisonment for a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 years along with a mandatory fine of INR 10,000 which may even extend up to INR 25,000. However, we rarely get to hear the news of poachers being imprisoned and if it does, it is no less than a surprise.
What to Expect Next?
On one hand, we see how the government had launched campaigns like Save Tiger and Project Tigers for the conservation of these big cats, on the other we are silently losing the war of saving the tigers. With over 51 deaths in the first five months of the year, 2019 and about 384 in a decade is really tragic. Not all the tiger deaths have come into the limelight but the deaths of 10 tigers every month is something that brings an alarm. We really hope the authorities in charge look into this serious concern and find the best possible solution to protect the tigers and other animals.